By Nicholas Jasinski
As a high school student at Freedom High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Andrea Miller discovered a love of creative writing and poetry thanks to a succession of quality English teachers. Over the years and through her college career, Miller’s passion for storytelling developed into an interest in news journalism and eventually television broadcasting.
“All of my English teachers have just been really cool and that just always propelled me forward to stay on the path of writing, whether it be creative or for the news,” Miller said.
Outside of class, Miller and her friends would write funny sketches and record them with their cellphones, an experience she credits with broadening her interest in storytelling beyond writing.
“[I would use] my phone to record silly things with my friends and took those videos and compiled them and got into editing and making stories through that,” Miller said.
Now a 22-year-old recent graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia with a major in Media Studies and Production and a minor in Environmental Studies, Miller has had opportunities to test her hand at visual storytelling in professional environments, first as an intern at local Philadelphia television station PHL17 and then as an assistant producer for multiple programs on Temple’s TUTV.
While at PHL17 from September 2016 to January of this year, Miller was tasked with running the teleprompter, researching and editing stories for broadcast, and assisting with guests and other production responsibilities for the station’s morning news broadcast. Miller values the first-hand experience she gained while working at a small station, which allowed her to play a more significant role than she would at a larger network.
“[It was] definitely really inspiring to be in the newsroom working with people who have been in the industry for a while and being able to gain insight from them and to know what to look for when I graduate, where I am now,” Miller said.
In her final semester at Temple, Miller joined the staff of the university’s cable station as an assistant producer for two shows: “Temple Update,” a weekly live news broadcast, and “Media Inside Out,” a talk show that explores various topics related to the theme of media literacy. As an assistant producer for both programs, Miller was responsible for researching and writing stories, booking guests, editing video, and assisting while shooting live.
On “Media Inside Out,” Miller was able to incorporate issues she cared about into the show’s programming, such as the environment, with topics discussed on the show including sustainability media and exploring the language that news outlets use when reporting on climate change.
“Andrea has a real passion for information and actions that influence media and the environment,” Sherri Hope Culver, founder and director of the Center for Media and Information Literacy at Temple University and Miller’s supervisor at TUTV, said. “She is easygoing and pleasant to be around. She is willing to work hard to get a job done right.”
Miller recently earned a place in the Dow Jones News Fund’s business reporting internship program, starting on May 21. Her summer begins with a one-week intensive crash course in all aspects of business journalism followed by a 10-week placement at an internship at the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) in Trevose, Pennsylvania. ASI is an advertising agency which mainly focuses on producing and distributing promotional products but also features an editorial team, where Miller will be interning. ASI publishes no fewer than four magazines covering topics of interest to their clients, advice for how to sell more specialty advertising items, and broader business themes.
Working in advertising is a new direction for Miller but she is excited for the challenges and experiences that this summer will bring. As for the future, however, Miller sees herself returning to her calling in the form of visual storytelling.
“I’m going to try to find something else more towards broadcasting definitely,” Miller said. “But I’ll see where the road takes me, I’m open to any opportunity for sure.”